I was that kid that went through several phases a year, even a week, even a month. I was into cooking for a while, even a whole set of bowls and a nice whisk and my own wooden spoon and cupcake decorator, all of which we still have to this day. Then I was into inventing things, then I was into origami, painting, magic, even balloon art at one point. The list goes on. It didn’t seem to end, but eventually it faded out. As I grew up, I got too busy to do art projects that began to seem menial as I aged. I went to middle school and then high school and filled my time with homework and free time with the internet.
Still, filling my time with art was not forgotten on me. Growing up with a math and science-oriented older brother who could have easily been valedictorian of his class (we didn’t have those) felt like pressure, and it took me forever to realize that it wasn’t. He got a 4.0 (unweighted) GPA while I got off with a 3.4. Not bad, and by the end I didn’t really care, that was good enough for me, because I had learned that my strengths were not summed up by a number, and bottom line, that number got me into college, and that was all I needed.
I learned very soon that my strengths, being artsy and letting my creative juices flow, were something that I wanted to apply to real life. I am an ENFP Meyers-Briggs type that needs a job like a Graphic Designer or a Web Designer or an Advertising Exec or something that doesn’t let me sit down all day. I need people, interactions, a creative outlet to let me express myself. But at the same time, not too much, because I don’t do that great under pressure or in front of an audience. I thought at one point I was going to be a writer, because writing like I am not comes very easily to me. My thoughts can run away with me sometimes and there are so many things I want to say but I have a very limited outlet to express them all at once and I want to say one thing but then I end up saying something else and I forget the other thing and UGH.
But I digress, or rather, do whatever the opposite of digress is. I am a Gen Z who grew up in an amazingly innovative world of technology and have unlimited resources to express my creativity and connect with people who want to do the same thing I do. Meeting people who share my major in my CAP 105 class was beautifully refreshing, because I hadn’t met people before that want to do exactly what I do. My favorite class in high school was my Visual Communications class, because I learned how to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, along with learning the basics of a DSLR camera (most of which I’ve already forgotten, but it was really cool at the time). That class was my favorite because we did have assignments, and in the beginning my teacher wanted everyone to do it a certain way, but as the year went on, the class got more fun for me because my creative outlet got bigger and bigger and I could do more. Many of our projects had a guideline to follow, but for the most part, we could do our own thing, and it was entertaining for me because you could easily tell the people that only signed up for the class to fill a credit or because the class wasn’t full. I felt like the only person who had a genuine interest in the class and it’s material.
Whilst I was in Visual Communications, I couldn’t help but feel, however, like I was inferior. My teacher, on days when he wasn’t in class, would show us documentaries that showcased different graphic designers and would show their art, and in those moments, I felt like, maybe a graphic design career wasn’t for me. It was upon doing more research that I realized you had to be good, like really, really good to truly be considered a success in the graphic design field. It was then that I broke up with the idea of ever being successful in graphic design itself, because I knew that I didn’t quite have the jaw-dropping talent that one needed. But, in that case, was there anything else I could do?
Fast forward to the beginning of my senior year, and my mom randomly brought up being in the field of advertising as a possible career path. I thought about it, looked into it a little bit, and realized that it could actually work for someone like me, who had a creative spark within them, but almost none of the talent to go with it. It sounded like such a good idea, and to this day, it still does. I am someone who needs the ability to express their ideas creatively, and so far, it seems that being in Ad & PR can give me that outlet.
Just please don’t ask me to draw anything. That phase ended long ago.